Call me Idi Adolf - Naomi Cambell - Hitler the Terrible from now on
I am the meanest, cruellest dog owner in the world. At least that's what my dog, Dogadoo, thinks right now.
My thrice-weekly 6am alarm went off this morning, and I leapt out of bed as if stung by a bee. Nearly six years of running and the mantra I use to keep going continues to work: Don't Think, Just Don't Think, Don't Think, You're Not Actually Awake Yet, Don't Think...... This enables me to ablute (what a fabulous word - right up there with 'thrice'), skull a large glass of water and get dressed into my running gear.
By the time I find a couple of doggy doo doo bags, Dogadoo has almost turned herself inside out with delight as she waits outside; peering into the laundry window (where my gear and the toilet is) to reassure herself that yes, today is one of those magnficent days. Today is a running day. Exactly three minutes after waking, I was outside, pulling on my trusty old sneakers. After the winter months of running around the Sapphire's school oval, the once-white adidas are now brown and flecked with dead grass; a little bit like wearing two lamingtons on my feet. It is always difficult to tie up my laces because Dogadoo's tail is beating madly against my calves and her tongue is busy kissing my fingers in unadulterated gratitude, anticipation and joy.
Her pink, dog-footprint-patterned lead was then clicked on to her collar and we trotted around to the side gate, ready to go. Whoah - it was only then that I was forced to take note of the weather conditions - blustery, unpredictable puffs of wind (not unlike Sapphire when she's fast asleep under her doona) greeted us and added an extra welcome by driving sharp points of rain directly into our eyes. The stinging water bolts were horizontal and freezing in their intensity. A quick glance at the boiling black sky confirmed it, as did the slough of water that smacked me on the head with the equivalent strength of a bucket of water being thrown down from the 4th floor of University House during prosh week.
Dogadoo was blissfully ignorant, her tail now wagging so frantically that her bum, back and shoulders joined in the rhythm. She gently started to pull at the lead, glancing back at me with a worried expression: Why aren't we going to the oval now? Sadly, I patted her on the head and unclipped her lead at the same time. "I'm sorry furry face, but it's far too wet to go for a run today. We have to go tomorrow, little bud." Her fuzzy little brain struggled to comprehend the worst situation she had faced in her young life - my owner gets me ready for a run and then says no??
Dogadoo frowns when she's sad or worried, she honestly does. Even Love Chunks, who tries very hard to resist Dogadoo's obvious charms agrees with me. However unlike us humans, her frown lines are vertical, giving the impression she's been trapped inside a bus door. Truth be told, she has very little to frown about in her heavenly little beloved pet world. Occasionally her dinner bowl might arrive a few minutes' late, she's forced to have a bath (lasting all of five minutes) every Saturday; or she drinks too much of Sapphire's bath bubbles and has to go outside for a puke.
I'm gonna pretend this chunk of wood is MillyMoo and bite her head off!
This morning however, her pain, distress and sadness was palpable. I felt like a total bastard. I even left her outside, so that I could undress, slip back into bed for another hour and not have to endure the sight of her frowning face or sad, limpid eyes staring at me accusingly by the side of the bed. Naturally - and perhaps fairly - sleep was denied me and tossing and turning was to be undertaken instead. I felt as cold-hearted as the bloke who cancelled free milk at school in the seventies; Sanity workers forced to stock the shelves with 'Achy Breaky Heart' cassingles; and having to admit to being the mother of Mark Holden.
Luckily, when I got up an hour later, fed Dogadoo her breakfast and let her back inside, my irredeemably bad acts were mostly forgiven. Thanks be to the Creator Of Dogs that their brains are merely the size of walnuts and incapable of remembering too many past disappointments.